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mand your children to obferve to do all Vol. II. the words of this Law. Chapter 6. 6, 7. And these words which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart. And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them, when thou fittest in thine houfe, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou lyeft down, and when thou rifeft up. Chapter 11. 19. enjoyns the fame thing in almost the same words. Whence the Royal Pfalmift obferves, Pfal. 78. 5, 6. For he established a teftimony in Jacob, and appointed a law in Ifrael, which he commanded our fathers that they should make them known to their children. That the generation to come might know them, even the children which should be born; who should arise and declare them to their children. And as the Commands of God do exprefly oblige us to this Duty, fo do the Examples of all pious and excellent Perfons too; as of Abraham, Gen. 18. 17, 18, 19, of Joshuab in my Text, of David, Pfal. 101. and Cornelius, Acts 10, What should I infift longer on this Argument; does not Nature it felf press us to it? are we not carried on by all the tendernesses of natural Inftinct,to seek the temporal Good O of
Vol. II, of our Children and Families? and if so, then much more their Eternal Good, as of vaster Importance than their Temporal. And here I cannot but remark how abfurd and preposterous a Notion the World has generally entertained of good Parents and good Governours of Families? they feem to think the whole Duty of fuch to consist in Acts of Fondness and Indulgence, in Order and Regularity, Sobriety and good Husbandry, and a juft Care, as they speak, of the main. But what? must then the Eternal Intereft, which is certainly the greatest and deareft Concern of the Family be the least, or none at all, of the Head of it. Is he a kind, or careful Mafter or Parent, who feeds and clothes the Bodies, but ftarves the Souls of his Family? who is follicitous indeed for their worst part, but abandons utterly the care of their better part is he a kind Father, 'who takes indeed care to make a worldly Provifion and Settlement for his Children, but takes none at all to furnish them with thofe Divine Principles and Vertues which fhould fortifie them against Temptations; teach them how to enjoy good, and suffer evil, and
how to behave themselves in all the Vol. II. Circumstances of Life, and which fhould finally be the trueft foundation and ftrongest fence even of their Temporal Prosperity. I do not doubt but by this time I have fufficiently proved to you that are Masters, that confidered in this Capacity, 'tis your Duty to endeavour to promote Religion in your Families. But here, 'tis poffible, fome may object, It feems then I am accountable for the Actions of my Family, as well as for my own; and that I am not only bound to be godly, righteous, and fober my felf, but to fee that my Children and Servants be fo too, and this as I tender my Salvation If this be fo, who will incumber himself; I will not fay, with the trouble and expence of a Family, but this very great and dangerous care you speak of? To this I answer; Every Truft which God commits to any Man, does neceffarily draw after it a Care and Duty, but then 'tis our Comfort too, that every peculiar Obligation has a peculiar Affiftance, and if we acquit our felves as we ought, will procure us a peculiar Reward.
Nor ought we to think the Doctrine
Vol. II. I have advanc'd hard, for 'tis in few words no more than this, That we are to do our Duty in the Station wherein God places us; and there is nothing happens to us in this, which does not in every station; for every diftinct and peculiar ftation in this Life has its diftinct and peculiar hazards and difficulties. I conclude then this first Motive in the words of our Lord, which may without any force be ac commodated to this purpose, Matth. 24. 45. to the end, Who then is a faithful and wife fervant, whom his Lord has made ruler over his houshold, to give them meat in due feafon. Bleffed is the Servant whom his Lord, when he cometh, fhall find fo doing. Verily I Say unto you, that he shall make him Ruler over all his Goods. But and if that evil fervant fhall fay in his heart, my Lord delayeth his coming, and shall begin to fmite his fellow-fervants, and to eat and drink with the drunken, the Lord of that fervant shall come in a day that he looks not for, and in an hour that he is not amare of, and hall cut him afunder, and appoint him his portion with hypocrites there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
2. My second Motive to this Duty Vol. II is taken from the fecond Capacity in which we may be confidered, namely, as good Chriftians. Every good Man will do what good he can; and the Reason of this is plain, because he is poffeffed with Zeal for the Honour of God, with Charity for his Neighbour, and because he finds a fecret Complacency and Foy in doing good. 'Tis to these Principles the Scripture afcribes the diligence of good Men in propagating Vertue and Religion in their Families. Thus fays God of Abraham, Gen. 18. 19. I know him, that he will command his children, and his houbold after him, and they shall keepe the way of the Lord, &c. that is, I fee the religious bent of his Soul, and therefore am well affured that he will, with the most tender and zealous Care, labour to poffefs his Family with the knowledge and love of God. And thus in my Text, the Refolution Jofuah takes up for himself and Family, does apparently proceed from a fincere Zeal for God; and in David and Cornelius (both which I shall have occasion to mention afterwards) we find the fame Zeal exerting it felf in the fame manner; David, 0 3